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Pen And Ink Potpourri

This is the time of year when some days are best spent curled up inside where it's toasty, drinking something hot and sweet and reading about your favorite things.

If you're a pen person, this is a collection of reads that might just make you feel all warm and fuzzy. So, grab your tablet and your mug, find the snuggliest seat in the house and settle in.

Pocket protector envy

Gizmodo is in love with the Rotring 800+, except for its price tag. So, now that Monteverde has a mechanical pencil/stylus on the market – one that includes a ruler, scale and phillips and flathead screwdrivers – for less than the Rotring, the writers at Gizmodo are ecstatic.

Money isn't everything

The cheaper option isn't necessarily the better one, Wired points out, after pitting the Lamy Vista against the Delta Serena. Writer Richard Baguley recommends spending a little extra when choosing a fountain pen – but within limits.

Walk, you lazy babies

Now this is an new angle on the whole kids-and-handwriting discussion. The Herald Scotland reports that, in response to concerns that Scottish children's handwriting skills are deterioriating, an academic in the education field blames the use of baby buggies.

My fountain pen can beat up your keyboard

The always pen-friendly Guardian makes another argument for the superiority of handwriting to keyboarding with a round-up of studies linking improved cognition with writing by hand. And it's not just handwriting that enriches mankind, the piece concludes.

Certainly the graphic arts and calligraphy are thriving. Perhaps, in their way, they compensate for our soulless keyboards.

At least ink knows no gender

Author Ted Bishop earns a double-edged review from the Winnipeg Free Press for his engaging book, "The Social Life of Ink." The reviewer enjoys Bishop's exploration of inks and their uses, including his attempts to make ink from charred sheep bones, but takes issue with the author's tendency to lapse in chauvinist tropes.

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